The idea of being able to play an immersive, real-world racing game on-the-go has always been something on my radar. I can remember picking up GT Advance when the Game Boy Advance launched and thinking how amazing it was to play an (almost) 3D racing game portably. Almost 20 years later and GRID Autosport is certainly pushing the envelope on what can be done with a high-fidelity racer during a morning commute.

GRID Autosport

Race Modes

GRID Autosport isn’t a pure simulation racing game like Gran Turismo or the Forza Motorsport series. It’s not a pure arcade-style game either but it does a great job at incorporating the accessibility of arcade racers. Players will get to choose from five different racing disciplines with plenty of races and events in each: Touring, Endurance, Tuner, Open-Wheel, and Street. There’s really something for everyone. I found myself enjoying the Touring and Street modes the most (I enjoy racing game series like Forza Horizon and Need for Speed so these disciplines meshed well with me). The controls are easy to pick up and can be tuned for any skill level. Initially, you’ll start out with automatic braking and other settings to make non-racing game fans feel comfortable. If those types of settings feel stifling to you, simply turn them off. There are so many ways to customize how you play so be sure to venture through the game’s comprehensive options menu.

GRID Autosport

Replay Screenshot

The game also features an excellent ‘rewind’ feature that allows you to make up for any mistakes you might have during a race. Took a turn too fast? Cause a ten car pile-up? Just use the rewind button and go back a few seconds so you can take another shot. The rewind feature is one of the greatest innovations for racing games and opens the genre up to more players without taking anything away from the experience. Now, if you’re an old-school racing game fan, you may feel otherwise and you can simply opt to not use the feature.

GRID Autosport

Cockpit View

Some of the features unique to the Switch edition of GRID Autosport (not counting the portable play aspect) are motion control steering, HD Rumble, and even GameCube controller support which allows players to use the analog triggers. I must say I was very surprised to see the inclusion of GameCube controller compatibility. Analog controls may not be necessary for everyone but it’s certainly nice to see the developers add such a plethora of control options.

The visuals in GRID Autosport are simply top-notch. Car models and environments are both richly detailed and there’s even some player choice involved. Enabling graphics mode features higher resolution textures and gameplay at 30 FPS (frames per second) while using performance mode uses lower resolution textures but at a solid, 60 FPS. There is also a free, high-resolution texture pack that can be downloaded from the eShop for even greater detail. It’s really amazing what the developers have been able to do visually with the Switch version. I also love having the option to choose performance or greater visual fidelity.

GRID Autosport

Showing some of the environment detail

For the moment, the Switch version of GRID Autosport is purely a single-player experience. However, that will be changing in the near future as the developers have announced they are working on a free update that will provide both online and local multiplayer. This might be good or bad news depending on what you’re looking for in a racing game. If multiplayer is your jam, you may want to wait for the update. If you’re like me and play solo most of the time, there is still plenty of content here for $34.99.

GRID Autosport

Showcases some of the world and crowd

GRID Autosport is almost in a class of its own on the Nintendo Switch. The game is one of the best looking Switch games and is the best racing simulator experience available on the console. While games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Crash Team Racing lead the system’s kart racing options–GRID Autosport has shot to the top of the list if you want to race in real-world environments. The level of care that Feral has put into the Switch version is apparent with even more options to come. If you’re in the market for a racing sim to take on-the-go, you can’t do any better than GRID Autosport.